June 24, 2021
Amsterdam is famous for its so-called coffeeshops. But no, it is not a coffee shop, it’s more like a store for weed. And believe us, it causes confunsion in both coffee shops and coffeeshops in Amsterdam.
Sure you can buy coffee at a coffeeshop in Amsterdam, but getting weed at a coffee shop? They would stare at you in amazement. Yet the link between these two is easy to make.
In 1970s Amsterdam, cannabis was actually bought in coffee shops or living rooms where you could also drink coffee. In everyday language these places were called coffeeshops. Because of the policy of tolerance, they were able to go public with their ‘menu’.
It’s just like the word café. Café is the French name for coffee house and a similar situation applies here. Since the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century, cafés have been mainly associated with alcoholic beverages, while the word café in French literally means ‘coffee’. Et voila!